Those of us willing to admit that we have seen and even enjoyed the “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap® will affectionately recall the following bit of dialogue:
If you don’t have the 52 seconds to watch, you can read the dialogue here, from IMDB.com:
Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
Today, I stopped by a small music store to pick up something and glanced at their selection of guitar amps. I jokingly asked the owner if he had any that went up to eleven.
He said that, in fact, he did. Incredulous, I looked at the one he showed me, and sure enough, he did.
He said, “I’ve thought about charging more for that one.”
“Because it goes louder?” I asked.
We shared a laugh. But this is for real: